Summer is on the horizon and local farmer’s markets are in the air. Whether you live in our beautiful region, spend weekends here (away from the hustle and bustle) or are just passing through, there is a farmer’s market that is just right for you. From King George to Irvington to West Point and many towns in between, you can experience the down home country living of a picture perfect farmer’s market. Not only will you be supporting local farmers and the local economy, you will be on the fast track to improving your family’s health and nutrition by cutting out the middleman and buying direct.
Food vendors abound at these markets and you can find just about anything your heart desires. There is a bounty of delicious home grown vegetables and fruits when they come in season. At area markets one can find farm raised beef or goat cheese. Of course there is tasty seafood to be had when in season also. The best oysters, crabs and local fish are plentiful. Delectable homemade baked goods are at the ready for your sweet tooth.
Craft vendors can be found aplenty also. Homemade items from handbags, jewelry, clothing, vases, bowls, hand painted glassware and so much more. Local folk art and popular country items are easy to spot. Do not be surprised if you see the local variety of seafood crafted onto anything and everything as well. You can purchase a piece of regional beauty from local artists by means of handpainted or drawn artworks and photography to take home for your delight.
Cut flowers, plants, shrubbery and trees are also available when in season. Local growers and nurseries have their magnificent bounty on display. Colors so divine you will not be able to resist their loveliness. All available for you to take a little of the market home for your enjoyment.
Let’s not forget local businesses and organizations. You could find an area landscaper to plan your perfect garden, flower beds or rock garden and coi pond to make your surroundings serene. Even a contractor that can build that deck you have always dreamed of or the shed you have been wanting. Visit the booth of a local humane society with pets to adopt and learn the process for spay/neuter certificates for your house pets. They can even detail trap/neuter/release programs for feral cat colonies. You may even find the American Red Cross seeking volunteers for their blood drives and learn how to help those in the area during their time of need. During election season you will find candidates stating their stances on local issues and looking for new supporters.
You may find a local organization having a fundraiser for the best of causes as well. Whether it is the local cheerleaders or a boy scout troop, they are working hard to sell their goods to raise money for a good cause.
You will surely find area artists at various markets creating the most beautiful portraiture on site. Choose from one-of-a-kind works of art they have on display for purchase or request your own custom piece. Feel free to ask them questions and maybe learn what motivates them or where they get their ideas.
Musicians and entertainment are at most area farmer’s markets also. There is a broad variety of singers, bands and instruments on any given market day. From folk singers playing washboards and jugs to rock, country and gospel. There is something for everyone.
The following is a compiled list of area farmer’s markets and their information. Keep in mind that all vendors listed may not attend each market and organizers can only give an educated guess based on attendance from past events.
Colonial Beach, Westmoreland County
Sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Colonial Beach Volunteer Fire Department. Also included is a free Bluemont concert with music ranging from country to bluegrass and pop to rock ’n roll from 12 Noon–2 p.m. during each market. “We’d love to have more fresh produce from area farmers, artisans, cheese makers, bakers and the like,” says Sherryl Woods. Dates: May–September on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Location: Colonial Beach town green at the corner of Colonial and Washington Avenues.
Likely vendors: arts, crafts, jewelry, plants and more.
Contact: Pat at 804-214-9022 or email email@example.com or Jackie at
Deltaville, Middlesex County
Come by land or sea. Wander through the gardens and see the wondrous transformation of the boat F.D. Crockett. Come for breakfast or lunch and view the many waterfront displays.
NOTE: The first market, on April 30, will extend until 2 p.m. in conjunction with the Annual Working Watermen’s Weekend.
Dates: May–November on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Holly Point Nature Park at the Deltaville Maritime Museum, 287 Jackson Creek Road, Deltaville, VA 23043.
Likely vendors: fresh produce, plants, fine art, quilts, oyster farming equipment, baked goods, Greek delicacies, fresh goat cheeses, handmade jewelry hand-blocked women’s clothing, art windows, pottery, turned wooden bowls, handmade printed cards, seated massages, rustic lawn furniture, t-shirts, photography, architectural artifacts, custom rods and reels, handmade soap, candles, custom signs and more.
Contact: Bob Kates at 804-776-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.deltavillemuseum.com.
Gloucester, Gloucester County
Contact: Gloucester Main Street Association at 804-695-0700 or visit www.gloucestervillage.com.
Heathsville, Northumberland County
Supports a historic Courthouse Tavern built in 1795 and this market re-creates the courthouse square of that time period. The market is a fundraising effort by volunteers to keep the Tavern and Town Square in place for historic preservation. The area even provides a pavilion for some vendors for shade. This market has different monthly events—May is the Chesapeake Garden Club Flower Show.
Dates: April–October on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Rt. 360, behind the old Heathsville Courthouse. Likely vendors: fresh produce, organic produce, flowers and plants, honey, pepper jelly, baked goods and breads, oysters meat, clothing, T-shirts, organic clothing, jewelry, pottery, wood bowls, art, photography, window decals, furniture, candles and more.
Community organizations include: Master Gardeners, Red Cross, Northern Neck Recycling, Lions Club, etc. Food is available for purchase and also the best lemonade and limeade around.
Contact: Ellen Hollows at 804-580-3377 or email email@example.com or visit www.rhhtfoundation.org.
Irvington, Lancaster County
Promises a lively monthly event and an opportunity to acquire items not often found in traditional stores. In addition, many non-profit public service organizations are on site and sharing information.
Dates: May–November on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Irvington Commons.
Likely vendors: fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, salsas and sauces, plants, flowers and herbs, seafood and meat, soaps, baskets, wooden bowls, paintings by local artists, photographs, cards, furniture, jewelry, clothing, folk art, gift items and more.
Contact: Joyce Bombay a 804-480-0697 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kilmarnock, Lancaster/Northumberland Counties
This market has monthly themes. May is Carrots and Corvettes, June will have extended hours and feature a Wine Festival and July will be Fire Blazin’ Days of Summer which will kick off the Kilmarnock Volunteer Fire Departments Carnival. Also, August will be Down on the Farm and have old and new farm equipment on display. September will be Bikes, Bikes, Bikes and is going to coincide with the Northern Neck RiverRide and Red Cross Poker Run. Lastly, October will be Halloween Harvest/Hollowing Hounds and feature
a Paws on Parade Dog Contest.
Dates: May–October on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (June 25 will be from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.)
Location: Corner of Main Street and
Tow Centre Drive.
Likely vendors: arts, crafts, produce, flowers, food and non-profit organizations. Assorted vendors to coincide with each monthly theme.
Contact: Edie Jones Jett at 804-435-6092 or www.kilmarnockchamber.org/farmersmarket.html.
King George, King George County
This market won the American Farmland Trust’s Best Boutique Market Award in 2010. It is weekly with specific Community Days on the following dates: May 21, June 18, July 16, August 27, September 17, which will highlight local talents, skills and particular services available. Also present on these dates will be the Master Gardener Plant Clinic, community musicians and artisans. King George accepts SNAP and credit cards at their market.
Dates: Weekly on Saturdays beginning April 30–Thanksgiving, from 8 a.m.–
Location: King George Elementary School at 10381 Ridge Road, King George, VA 22485.
Likely vendors: This charming rural market sells all products grown, fished or raised in King George County such as vegetables, meats, eggs, bread and baked goods.
Contact: DeLaura Padovan at 540-775-2963 or email email@example.com or visit www.thefarmersmarket.co (not .com).
Mathews, Mathews County
New this year is a Community Host tent to promote fellowship and community at the market and various organizations will host the tent. This market sports different themes and various musical acts so please visit the calendar for a full listing. Some events are: May 14, Bay Quilters display; May 21, Mathews Homemakers craft making; May 28, first farm tour; June 4, Mathews Historical Society & the 150 Committee with Civil War Re-enactors on the green; July 9, Intro to Hypertufa, creating decorative dirt flower pots: August 6, Canning and food safety; September 17, Shiitake Mushroom Log demo; October 15, Harvest Day; November 19, Holiday crafts, last market of the year.
Dates: April–November each Saturday of the month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Historic Courthouse Green, on the corner of Church Street and Court Street, in downtown Mathews.
Likely vendors: Fresh local organic produce and plants, “bake it, make it or grow it.”
Contact: 804-725-5747 or visit www.mathewsmainstreet.com.
Tappahannock, Essex County
Sponsored by the Tappahannock Main Street Program, the Town of Tappahannock and Essex County.
Their goal is to create a gathering location for the community and also events that will encourage consumers and investors to live, work, shop and enjoy Tappahannock’s historical district. This is an opportunity to highlight the unique charm of downtown Tappahannock and to enjoy marketing in downtown as it was enjoyed in days of old. Each market will feature a guest artist and local musicians, which will be on a center stage.
Featured artists: May 21, Rivah Country Painters; June, no artist, held in conjunction with RivahFest; July, Konst and Konstantinova Konstantinov; August, Joey Burrough; September, Jen Donald; October, Sherryl Johnson.
Dates: May–October on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Courthouse Green on Prince Street and Fountain Green on Cross Street in historic downtown Tappahannock, 22560.
Likely vendors: vegetables, fruit, cheese, seafood, meats, jewelry, clothing, handbags, flowers, garden plants and accessories, homemade crafts, fine arts, food vendors. Non-profit organizations, civic groups, local fundraising groups and even the local humane society may be on site as well.
Contact: Lindsey Atkinson at 804-445-2067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tappahannockmarket.com.
Urbanna, Middlesex County
Sponsored by the Urbanna Business Association and the Town of Urbanna. The market on May 14 will coincide with Art of the Half Shell and will be extended until 3 p.m. At each market there are baked goods, food and beverages, live music and a 50/50 raffle available. There is a playground nearby for children and free parking is available.
Dates: May–September on the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Taber Park in historic downtown Urbanna at the corner of Rappahannock Avenue and Bonner Street.
Likely vendors: Homemade goods and crafts, organic products, goat cheese, flower arrangements and topiaries, fresh produce, choice perennials and annuals, fresh baked goods, jewelry, candles, clothing, soaps and more.
Contact: Call 804-761-4840 or visit www.urbanna.com/pages/farmersmarket.html.
Walkerton, King and Queen County
Sponsored by the King and Queen Community Development, Inc.
This market accepts credit cards and SNAP. There will be a family activity featured at each market. Their mission is to enrich the lives of King and Queen residents through community and economic development activities.
Dates: May–October on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–12 Noon.
Location: Walkerton Boat Landing.
Likely vendors: Locally grown produce and meat.
Contact: Staci Longest at 804-769-9656 or email email@example.com or visit www.kqcd.org.
Warsaw, Richmond County
This farmer’s market is new to the arena this year and all the particulars are not concrete as of press time. The Warsaw-Richmond County Main Street Program plans tentative markets beginning in July.
Dates: July–October on the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Near the intersection of Richmond Road and Court Circle.
Likely vendors: vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, garden plants and accessories, homemade crafts, fine arts and an assortment of restaurant and food vendors.
Contact: Luke French at 804-333-3032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Point, King William County
This farmer’s market requires that goods sold at the market be grown, made or produced by the vendors themselves. There is a vast assortment of vendors as the seasons change. Vendor spaces are free and vendors are required to fill out an information sheet with the town.
Dates: Each Saturday, beginning May 7–September 24 from 8 a.m.–12 Noon.
Location: In front of the West Point Station Shopping Center, next to McDonald’s at the corner of Rt. 33 and Main Street.
Likely vendors: jewelry, ornamental plants and tress, vegetables and herb plants, jams and jellies, breads, cakes, cookies, wonderful cantaloupes and watermelons and more.
Contact: Charlotte Scanlan at 804-843-3330 or email@example.com or visit www.west-point.va.us.
Farmer’s markets are country living in it‘s finest. There is no better way to showcase the best of the best than to enjoy markets as our forefathers did many years before us. Whether these markets are new on the block or have several years under their belts, they all seem to share similar goals: to bring the community together for a day of family enjoyment and to offer local goods from local farmers and vendors. In the meantime, what a exciting way to share the offerings of each town and to draw tourists and others from the region into the local economy. With tourist season soon to be in full swing, these local markets are sure to elicit fun, electricity and excitement for locals as well as out-of-town guests. So feel free to travel the region and visit various markets—you will soon understand our way of life and what living on the river is all about. Slow down and have a great day in the neighborhood!
By Melissa Cleaton Shearwood